The Family Behind LA’s Best Texas BBQ

Monk: Rene “Ray” Ramirez’s family – his wife Anabell and two sons Sebastian and Raul – is keeping the fire going at Ray’s Texas BBQ in Huntington Park, CA after his sad passing in early 2022. This is their story of how they picked things up and continue to carry on his legacy.

Description: Ray’s BBQ has brought residents a taste of Texas-style BBQ to the LA area since 2014. From the mouth-watering, slow-cooked brisket to the tender ribs and succulent sausage, the place has something for everyone to enjoy. Watch as we learn why the Ramirez family continues to carry on Rene “Ray” Ramirez’s legacy after his untimely passing and get a behind-the-scenes view of the passion put into every dish.

Linkdown: 2/1/23 – The Barbecue in a Bowl Edition


Monk: The second annual Carolina BBQ Festival is once again bringing some of the best and brightest pitmasters to the Queen City in early May. Lewis Donald has invited many of the same pitmasters from last year’s festival and added a few new faces: Jake Wood of Lawrence Barbecue, Keith Henning of Black Powder Smokehouse, Michael Letchworth of Sam Jones BBQ, and Tank Jackson of Holy City Hog.

The full list of pitmasters and chefs:

Tickets go on sale on Friday, February 10th. More information here.

Native News

Backyard BBQ Pit has received nearly $50,000 from its GoFundMe campaign and even got new kitchen appliances donated by an angel donor; now they are paying it forward to other local small businesses

It’s Brunswick stew season

In sad news, Clyde Cooper’s daughter Joyce recently passed but the occasion brought together is grandchildren and great grandchildren

Sweet’s Turkey BBQ is a Greensboro food truck serving chopped turkey barbecue, a healthier alternative to pork and beef

Midwood Smokehouse‘s Raleigh location has gotten their Oyler

Non-Native News

The James Beard semi-finalists were announced last week and pitmasters from Moo’s Craft Barbecue in LA, Heirloom Market BBQ in Atlanta, Tropical Smokehouse in West Palm Beach, Distant Relatives and KG BBQ in Austin, Goldee’s in Fort Worth, Curry Boys BBQ in San Antonio, Gatlin’s BBQ in Houston, and Burnt Bean in Seguin make the list

Charleston’s Swig & Swine BBQ is expanding to Myrtle Beach

Adrian Miller’s field guide to US barbecue

Bill Murray recently enjoyed a beef rib at Heritage Barbecue

30 pitmasters will be in Greenville, SC for Southern Roots: A BBQ Reunion on April 15

Episode 3 of Peacock’s “Poker Face” is brisket-focused and actually gets the specifics mostly right

How A Pitmaster Has Been Making Lamb Barbacoa Outside Of LA For Over 40 Years

Monk: Lamb barbacoa is primarily thought of as a dish along the southern Texas border, but Gonzalo Ramirez has been making authentic barbacoa in Arleta outside of Los Angeles for the past 40 years.

Description: Gonzalo Ramirez is one of the only barbacoyeros in the U.S. who raises and butchers his own lambs. He cooks the barbacoa in a pit, during a process that takes 24 hours. Ramirez sells his traditional Hidalgo-style barbacoa, moronga (blood sausage), consomé, and more on the corner of Canterbury Ave. and Hoyt Street off Van Nuys Blvd. in Arleta, California.

Friday Find: “How Slab Barbecue Makes Smoked Brisket Burgers”

Monk: Burt Bakman’s half-pound brisket burgers are finished in a pan and topped simply with melted cheese. And wow, they look ridiculous.

Description: Burt Bakman at Slab Barbecue believes that LA’s barbecue scene is at its infancy, which is why he’s taken it upon his restaurant to catch the city up to the likes of Texas with dishes like brisket, half-pound brisket burgers, spare ribs, smoked Australian wagyu steak, and more.

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Credits: Producer/Director: Connor Reid
Associate Producer: Julia Hess
Camera: Daniel Geneen, Jimmie Armentrout III
Editor: Connor Reid
Executive Producer: Stephen Pelletteri
Development Producer: McGraw Wolfman
Supervising Producer: Stefania Orrù
Associate Director of Audience: Terri Ciccone